Throughout the course of history, many people have influenced the lives of the American people and the economic course of the United States. Although only a little over two hundred years old, the United States has rapidly gained its economic power through the great minds and incentives of its people. During the early twentieth century, many Americans saw the prosperity that America had to offer. John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie took advantage of the growth of America and helped to shape the American business, economy, and society into what it is today.
The life and career of John Davidson Rockefeller is a story of American economic development that led to great success. Born in 1839 in Richford, New York, Rockefeller built an economic empire. Rockefeller’s first interest in acquiring money first began through his church involvement. He volunteered to raise $2000 for a church debt. Later Rockefeller confessed, "The plan absorbed me. I contributed what I could, and my first ambition to earn more money was aroused by this and similar undertakings in which I was constantly engaged."(1) He began his career as a humble oil business bookkeeper in Cleveland, Ohio and in just seven years rose to control a tenth of the entire United States oil industry.(2)
In the late nineteenth century, the oil industry was open to everyone. Sensing the commercial potential of the expanding oil production in western Pennsylvania in the early 1860’s, he built his first oil refinery near Cleveland in 1863.(3) He created new oil related companies such as engineering and pipeline firms that seemed to be independent operators. Rockefeller and his close colleagues, Andrews and Flagler, secretly co...
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... Carosso, 281-282.
22. Carosso, 338-342.
23. Carosso, 361-363.
24. Carosso, 376.
25. Carosso, 389.
26. Harold C. Livesay, Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business (Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, 1975), 45.
27. Livesay, 7-8.
28. Livesay, 40-42.
29. Livesay, 28
30. Livesay, 54.
31. Livesay, 93.
32. Livesay, 93-106.
33. Livesay, 132.
34. Livesay, 140.
35. Livesay, 187-189.
36. Livesay, 192.
- Carosso, Vincent P. The Morgans, Private International Bankers 1854-1913. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1987.
- Flynn, John T. God's Gold. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1932.
- Livesay, Harold T. Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business. Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, 1975.
- Nevins, Allan. John D. Rockefeller. New York: Charles Scribner's Son, 1940.
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